Thursday, July 3, 2014


Easily Make Reviews into Gameshows!

You can see how involved students get!
Today’s article for the RTT Teach Abroad August Blog Carnival, If you'd like to contribute to next month's Blog Carnival, please contact Dean and he will help!

Kahoot is a REALLY easy game to set up. You can check out my other post how to find and create your own Kahoot which will be published tomorrow.

What you'll need to use Kahoots with your students:
1. WiFi access: Technically it doesn't need to be wireless internet if they are using laptops or computers directly plugged into the internet, but since most of my students use tablets or cell phone WiFi works best.
2. A monitor: It is really important that all students can see  the monitor. If you have an IWB or projector those work best!
3. Devices: Students will need to have a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer that can access the internet. You don't need to make it one student per device; this can be done in small groups with two-five students per device
4. A Kahoot relevant to your class either made by you or others.

Kahoot basically allows you to make multiple choice quizzes that students can all answer. It makes a great review game, quick quiz, or an exit exam. 

To start the teacher starts the quiz. This will show the Game Pin (figure 1 to the left) on the monitor all students will see. On their devices they enter the Game Pin and then their name (or if they are working in groups their team name). Then their name she should be displayed on the monitor for everyone to see. Once you start the quiz keep in mind that the questions are displayed on the screen with each answer having a different shape and color. Students' devices will ONLY show the colors  (see figure four). If students can't see the monitor they will not be able to play.

You can set a time limit for each question from five seconds to two minutes, but once all of the students have answered the time is up regardless of how long you have given the students.The countdown will play as well as your graphic, the questions and answers.

After all of the students have answered, the correct answer will be displayed as well as a breakdown of how students answered (figure 2). This is an easy way to see not only if the students are mostly getting it wrong or right, but also which incorrect answers they are guessing. Are they missing the modals? Do they not know the irregular verbs? etc. Notice that it doesn't specify who gave which answer! This also takes some of the pressure off students. Unlike calling on a student when they answer this way no one knows if they get it wrong.

I usually take this time to go over why each answer is wrong. Ask the students, "why is blue wrong?" After you've gone over it, you press next and the scoreboard will pop up. Students get points for answering correctly; the faster they answer the more points they get. At the very end of the game the student with the most points will be declared the winner.

I feel like I should briefly point out that I often think that technology in the classroom is superfluous. Teaching our students how to use the internet as a tool to search properly is important. Being able to interact with different software programs is important. However, often teachers tell me, "Oh yeah my students are doing this online and it is awesome," and all I can think is, "how does this really help them more than a pen and paper does?"

This is one of those situations where technology isn't making your class more dynamic. You aren't encouraging more critical thinking. You could make a very similar game using post its and a marker. The perks of this compared to paper alternatives are:
 1. Technology Students LOVE the technology. It makes them more involved and most of them beg for it later! After you finish the Kahoot you can download the statistics to see how your students did. The spreadsheet will show how many questions students go correct and incorrect. It also does a breakdown of each question, and each students' answers to each question. This lets you know what questions are tricky for your students. 
2. Breakdown The technology makes it easy for you to get a breakdown of what questions students are getting right and how specific students are doing.
3. Efficient Pretty fast to set up; for me faster than most review games requiring a bit more prep
4. Paperless! Better for the Earth and your school's budget.

Let me know if you try out Kahoot and what you think! I personally didn't love it when I first tried it, but my students BEGGED for it every day after. Anytime my students like an activity I think it is probably worth sharing.


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